First novel about a young Latina lesbian’s painful coming of age.
A constant preoccupation of adolescents is to be someone—anyone—other than they are. Eleven-year-old Marci Cruz wants to be herself, but as a boy. And she wants her father to go away. Every night since her First Communion, Marci has made these two simple requests in her prayers, but they have so far been denied and she’s getting tired of asking. Her father, Eddie, is a brute who drinks, cheats on his wife, and beats his children. Her mother, Delia, is too broken down from years of Eddie’s abuse to fight him anymore. But Marci has the zeal of youth and doesn’t see why she has to put with this mierda. With her mother’s example before her, Marci has little use for men, and she dreams of falling in love with some girl with big chiches—like her next-door neighbor Racquel, for example. But Racquel is not only a gringa, she’s already in love with a local boy she hopes to run away with and marry. Marci has better allies in her grandmother Flora (who wants her and her sister Corin to move in with her), her teacher Sister Elizabeth (who tries to convince her to get help), and the town librarian, Miss Buck (who gives her books about Christine Jorgensen and sex-change operations). But Marci is not one to run away from a problem, especially when it would mean leaving her mother at her father’s mercy, so she works out a plan of revenge on her own, as patiently and as brutally as possible. And she manages to find a girl who likes girls, too.
A standard kid-on-the-threshold-of-the-world tale, decently told and fairly engaging, but suffused with a hatred of men so palpable that it might have been written by Andrea Dworkin.